A “post-memorandum monitoring program” will accompany Greece’s exit from creditors’ supervision, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was quoted as saying this week, essentially the first admission by the country’s “economy czar” that the looming end of the third – and final – bailout will not be as “clean” an exit as previously advertised.
Tsakalotos’ eyebrow-raising comment came in an interview published on Tuesday by the left-leaning “Efimerida ton Syntakton” daily.
The previously UK-based economics professor also claimed that such a “monitoring program” will come without conditions, but will include all of the prior actions previously agreed to between his leftist-rightist coalition government and institutional creditors.
Such actions, according to Tsakalotos, “cannot be completed, due to technical reasons, either by the (June 21) Eurogroup meeting, or the next one on Aug. 28, when the program ends,” he said.
The third successive bailout program for Greece ends on Aug. 20.
In a particularly scathing reaction, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party later said the current government will leave behind “only taxes, debts and a prolific dictionary of political fraud.”
“The dictionary of SYRIZA-like argot is being embellished. Troika = Institutions. Memorandum = Agreement. Kolotoumba = Necessary compromise. And as of today, a new word has been submitted by Mr. Tsakalotos: clean exit from the memorandums = post-memorandum monitoring program,” was the ND statement.
Tsakalotos also claimed that the markets have almost “guaranteed” Greece’s successful exit from the memorandums, “and, moreover, the growth strategy we presented essentially attempts to create our own holistic plan, which will be credible with both the markets and Greek society.”
In answer to another more “political question,” he said press reports claiming he is in favor of snap elections are “inaccurate”.
Among others, the left-wing minister appeared to flatly dismiss a majority of opinion polls showing his radical leftist SYRIZA party trailing center-right ND by double-digit percentage points. “Time is on the government’s side, every month that passes is more difficult for our opponents, not us,” was his assessment.